Now that the Daxton Hill saga is finally over and he is secured in Michigan’s class, it’s time to take a quick look at his senior film to see what he brings to the table.
The short answer is: everything. Hill has tremendous athleticism, posting the second highest SPARQ score in the country. He ran a laser-timed 4.3 40-yard dash, tied for first in the country, and has the fourth best vertical jump.
The elite speed is what jumps out immediately on his film, which you can find HERE.
Simply put, no play is over when Hill is on the field. He can chase down anyone in the open field, no matter where on the field he starts from.
This speed also works in the coverage game, as he uses his speed to close gaps quickly and turn what looks like a wide open receiver into an interception, like he does below.
What also helps in coverage is his amazingly fluid hips. Being able to flip your hips and run as a defensive back is probably the most important factor in determining how well you can cover.
The receiver can’t shake Hill, even while making multiple cuts. Hill sticks to him by flipping his body each time with little effort.
Here’s another good example:
Hill loses no ground keeping up with the receiver when he has to switch from backpedaling off the ball to turning and running downfield. That transition is usually when receivers break open, but with Hill it just doesn’t happen.
These last two plays also show Hill covering the slot. He moves all over the field on his film, lining up in normal safety position, over the slot, and outside at the cornerback spot. He has good press man coverage skills, which will be especially beneficial in Don Brown’s system.
Hill’s lined up at the bottom of the screen on this next play. He gets a good shove on the receiver, pushing him back a couple of yards at the line of scrimmage. Then he turns and runs with him, giving no space for a potential throw.
Hill’s tremendous speed and burst also help in the run game, where he’s also an asset. He’d line up in the box for heavy formations and showed good vision and footwork to fight around blocks and get to the ball.
Obviously Hill’s film is impressive, he’s a top 10 player in the country. But he truly excels in every facet of the game. His freaky athleticism gives him tremendous speed, fluid hips and excellent balance and footwork.
He’ll likely slide right into the free safety position Tyree Kinnel vacates next season. After the Ohio State game showed what kind of athlete, especially safety, is needed to defend fast spread teams, Michigan finally has someone to fill that role.